Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Fabulous Heart of Mekron: my personal OSR game

I've done it. I finally wrote my own personal D&D variant. It contains everything I like, including a super-quick and fun mass combat system. Have fun – and let me know how you like it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

My personal D&D

Here we go. My personal D&D. Have fun.
Roll 3d6 in order for STR, INT, WIS, CON, DEX, CHA.
No ability modifiers
(from necropraxis)
dH = Hit Dice of class
Roll 2dH twice for beginning weapons; re-roll duplicates if desired.
  1. Hand axe (can be thrown)
  2. Club, cudgel, or truncheon
  3. Sling (ranged)
  4. Dagger (can be thrown)
  5. Quarterstaff
  6. Crossbow (ranged) 8. Short sword
  7. Long sword
  8. Short bow (ranged)
  9. Mace
  10. Battle axe
  11. Spear (bulky, can be thrown)
  12. Long bow (bulky, ranged)
  13. Halberd or other pole arm (bulky)
  14. Two-handed sword (bulky)
Roll dH for beginning armor.
  1. No armor
  2. Shield
  3. Leather
  4. Leather & shield
  5. Chain
  6. Chain & shield 7. Plate
  7. Plate & shield
Roll d20 four times; re-roll duplicates if desired.
  1. Holy water
  2. Wolvesbane
  3. Belladonna
  4. Garlic
  5. Small mirror
  6. Mallet & stakes (6)
  7. Small hammer & Iron spikes (12)
  8. Grappling hook & rope (50 feet)
  9. Tinder box & Torches (6)
  10. Lantern & flasks of oil (3)
  11. Ten foot pole
  12. Rations
  13. Tent & bedroll
  14. Fishing gear
  15. Lockpicks
  16. Book, pen, ink
  17. Riding horse, tack, saddlebags
  18. Mule, tack, saddlebags
  19. Canoe & paddle
  20. Ancient super science battery
Batteries will have a limited number of charges. The referee should track charges secretly.
Each PC begins play with
Two sets of travelling clothes Backback
Belt pouch
Water skin
3 empty sacks (for loot, of course)
2d10 gp
Additional equipment is rolled on the equipment table above (4d20, as specified). Any class can use any weapon or armor (though armor decreases movement through encumbrance and penalizes actions requiring fine motor control); characters do dH damage.
A skill that is related to your class and/or background has a better success chance. Referee determines what to roll.
Saving Throw (d20)
Fighters: roll equal to or under Level+4
Magic-users: roll equal to or under Level+5
Other player characters: roll equal to or under Level+6
Monsters: roll equal to or under HD+5
OR use Stat Checks
Unarmored: AC 0
Cloth: AC 1
Leather: AC 2
Studded Leather: AC 3
Chainmail: AC 4
Splint mail: AC 5
Full plate: AC 6
Shield: add +1
Group initiative: each side rolls 1d6, higher roll goes first (determine who goes when), lower goes last; draw=simultaneous attacks; roll initiative each round
To-hit rolls (d20)
Calculate Attack Value (AV)
Fighting-men: 10+(Level*2/3 – rounded)
Magic-users: 10+(Level/3 – rounded)
Other player characters: 10+(Level/2 – rounded down)
Monsters: HD+10
To hit: roll 1d20 ABOVE target‘s AC, but below or equal to your AV
Critical hit: roll exactly your AV; double the damage you roll
Stat checks
Option 1: Roll either 1d6, 2d6, 4d6 or even more, equal to or under the stat
Option 2: Roll 1d20 equal to or under the stat
Option 3: Roll (1d20 + 1 or more points bonus if the stat is high + Level) equal to or higher than 15
Option 4: Roll 2d6 + 1 or 2 points bonus if the stat is high equal to or higher than 9. Increase/decrease as needed
Pick a class. Every race that‘s not a human gets some modifiers to stats.
Fighting-man: Starting hp 10; HD 1d8; Damage d4 per Level (either roll all d4s against one opponent, or distribute them between foes; only one to-hit roll for all dice).
Magic-users: Starting hp 6; HD 1d4; Damage 1d4. Start with 3+Level Spell Points.
Others: Starting hp 8; HD 1d6. Damage 1d6.
Creating classes
base class on one of the three base classes; give them an interesting twist.
Importing other character classes
Use the perks/special abilities of any character class. Gain a new perk every few levels. Be creative.
Spell Points: Level+3 magic-users; cast spell for free, then save vs. WIS or INT to see if the spell drained your energy. Fail this roll and lose the spell level in points. You can cast every damn spell you can lay your hands on, and spells might be written, etched, tattooed or memorized – same game mechanic.

# of attacks: 1 (1-4 HD); 2 (5-9 HD); 3 (10-14 HD); 4 (15+ HD)

Attack Value: HD+10
Format: HD, armor, powers, equipment
Damage: 1 HD, or eyeball it
Special abilities are triggered when monster rolls a critical hit
1XP per GP, round weird totals to account for monster killed, 2000 then twice the new number for every level, +10 000 per level above 9. Add 1 HD. Maybe gain a new perk.
Common sense
Establishing prices
(ideas: Zak S., Necropraxis)
Number of letters in one item: price in standard coinage of your world (Gold standard? Silver standard?)
Negative adjectives decrease price: reduce price by # of letters; if price=0, reduce the type of currency one step down (gp>sp>cp), then continue subtracting copper pieces based on the remaining unused letters in the negative adjectives. If you bottom out of copper, well good luck, it's trashed.
Large bulk purchases/sales of mundane items: roll (2d6+3) x 10% x list price.
Establishing treasure
(stolen from:
Use this die progression: d0/d4/d6/d8/d10/d12/d20/d100
To generate the value of a hoard:
Roll a d6. This tells you the number of significant digits in the hoard's value. If you plan to feature hoards of 1 million gp or greater in value, you may adjust the die type upwards as you please.
To generate the value of specific items in the hoard:
Roll a d8 and a d4. The d4 tells you how many significant digits in the item's value, and the d8 tells you which die type from the above progression to roll for the leftmost significant digit (the "head"). If an exact value is required, based on a use of the Appraise skill or whatever other method you prefer, roll 1d10 for each remaining significant digit. "0" on the d10s is read as zero, not ten.
e.g. You roll a 6 on the d8 and a 4 on the d4. This means the item is worth roughly d12 x 1000 gp. The d12 comes up 10. The item is worth roughly 10,000gp. A PC uses the appraise skill, so 3d10 are rolled, generating 3, 0, and 5. The item is worth 10,305 gp.

One continues using this process until the total value of the individual items in the hoard has the same number, or greater, as the number of significant digits in the total hoard value.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Ten thousand Buddha Palms – the action rpg

You haven't been waiting for it – but here it comes! Ten thousand Buddha Palms, my new action rpg. It's built for Hong Kong, Hollywood, Bollywood, Korean and every other type of action movie you can imagine.

All you need is your trusted rpg dice, some poker chips and pen and paper. Kick butts, take names!
(Easily combinable with minimald6 games).

Click here to download the single page format.

Click here to download the page spread format.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

HeroQuest as a roleplaying game

On New Year's Eve, we played a few sessions of HeroQuest, the old MB board game that everyone is still in love with because it is the best game ever made. I went in with the intention to morph it into a full-blown tabletop roleplaying game. Success came easily.
  1. Grant each adventurer type one or two special abilities or skills.
    These can either be freeform, or you can pick one of several freely available supplements for my minimald6 rpg and use those: Creatures & Classes, Deeds & Doers (not a supplement, but a major, major inspiration for minimald6), or Deeds & Doers Expansion.
  2. Keep the HQ combat system.
    It's quick, simple and fun.
  3. But change the order of play.
    In regular HQ, each player, including the Evil Wizard player, gets to move and act in order. In rpg-ified HQ, one player rolls a d6, the Evil Wizard player as well – the side with the higher result gets to act first (ALL characters; players will have to determine who does what), then ALL characters of the other party move and act.
  4. Remember how trap doors work in HeroQuest? Use this as saving throw for all non-combat moves.
    When a trap door has been detected, an adventurer can leap across if the player rolls one Combat Die and it doesn't show a skull symbol. There are three skull symbols, two white shield symbols and one black shield symbol on a Combat  Die. This is how you turn the board game rule into an rpg rule: To be successful, an adventurer rolls TWO combat dice and has to roll a white shield.

    If in a situation, the adventurer has an advantage of some kind, roll THREE combat dice instead of two. Remember, all you need to roll is one white shield.

    The same in reverse applies to disadvantages: Roll ONE combat die instead of two. Roll a white shield, and you're golden.
And yes, these few minor twists turn the HeroQuest board game into full-blown minimald6
Oooooh yeah!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Thursday, December 20, 2018

On natural gaming and my minimald6 system

We're still on our journey back through time, and our destination is to play as "naturally" and intuitively as possible. I'm tempted to call this style of rpg "natural gaming" – because we'd like to rely as little as possible on stats and numbers on the character sheet. One way of achieving this is to roll stats, but to keep only the really good and really bad ones.

Like this character creation example from one of my minimald6 games, a cyberpunk rpg called Futurepunk:

Roll 1d6 for strength, dexterity, health, courage, intelligence, tech

I roll 3,3,4,6,6,1 – I keep 6,6 and 1. So my character has balls of steel, is super intelligent, but abysmally bad with tech. This is exactly what I write on my character sheet.

Next: Personally, I love character classes because they offer quick orientation for players who have never played in a genre before. Old hands can still play with the concept and add wrinkles to it. A win-win.

I like character classes with a bare minimum of details: class, a list of skills, abilities, equipment and secrets to choose from. I roll for my character class and get a Cop. In my game, the character class Cop looks like this:

Cops (2): Big revolver, kevlar vest, shotgun, close-quarters combat and firearms training, authority, shady business on the side.
The (2) indicates that the player may choose two entries from the list. I pick "Authority" and "Shady Business on the side". What do they mean? Obviously, they're some kind of special skill and background, but what exactly do they mean? Well, here's the thing: In my games, I don't want to define these things. This is natural gaming, and so I want every group to find out what they mean to them, in their world, according to their preferences and their play style.

In my game, "Authority" is the skill to make a huge impression on people, even more so if they're gullible. In your game, "Authority" might only work within the ranks of an organization. Your game, your call.

What about a quick dice system, something that can be included on one page in a supplement, for instance? My minimald6 system fits that bill perfectly.

You roll 2d6, +1d6 if your character has some advantage of some kind, -1d6 if your character has some disadvantage of some kind. You always roll at least 1d6, and 3d6, tops. Every 5 and 6 is a success. That's it. That's the system. You can add any house rule, for instance, adding hit points. Or rolling 1d20 with a DC of 1 0 (add +5 to your roll for advantage, subtract 5 from your roll for disadvantage) instead of rolling 2d6. Let the rules find you in play. Adjust, bend, twist, shake and stir them till they fit your style. Natural gaming in a nutshell.

Monday, November 19, 2018

My OSR logo

In light of recent events, I present you my OSR logo. The copyright is mine, but you can use it however you see fit, as long as you shoot me an email with a link to your product.